On April 2023, a group of nine culinary and hospitality students from SEGi College Kota Damansara, accompanied by their lecturer, Clarice, visited the Zoo Negara Malaysia. The trip was organised under the Pengurusan Ko-Kurikulum module, aimed at encouraging students to develop an appreciation for wildlife and learn about the importance of protecting endangered animals.
According to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), wildlife populations have declined by 68% on average between 1970 and 2016. The report highlights that human activities, such as deforestation, poaching, and wildlife trade, are the primary causes of wildlife loss. Encouraging young people to appreciate and protect wildlife can play a vital role in preserving these precious species for future generations.
The students had the opportunity to see a wide range of animals, including those that are endangered, and learn about their habitats and behaviours. Zoo Negara Malaysia has been actively involved in conservation efforts, particularly for endangered species, and is home to over 5,000 animals of 450 different species.
Clarice, the lecturer who accompanied the students, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to expose her students to the importance of wildlife conservation. She emphasised that the trip was not just about seeing the animals, but also about educating students on how to avoid harming wildlife and promoting ethical tourism.
The importance of promoting responsible and ethical tourism has gained traction in recent years. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has identified sustainable tourism as a crucial component of the global effort towards achieving sustainable development. The UNWTO emphasises the need to promote responsible tourism practices that protect the environment and respect the rights and cultures of local communities.
The trip to the Zoo Negara Malaysia, organised by SEGi College Kota Damansara, is a commendable effort towards promoting responsible tourism and conservation awareness. It is through initiatives such as this that young people can be empowered to become responsible global citizens who appreciate and protect wildlife and the environment.